First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His--and the Nation's--Prosperity

First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His--and the Nation's--Prosperity

Language: English

Pages: 296

ISBN: 0306823470

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The United States was conceived in business, founded on business, and operated as a business—all because of the entrepreneurial mind of the greatest American businessman of any generation: George Washington.

Using Washington's extensive but often overlooked financial papers, Edward G. Lengel chronicles the fascinating and inspiring story of how this self-educated man built the Mount Vernon estate into a vast multilayered enterprise and prudently managed meager resources to win the war of independence. Later, as president, he helped establish the national economy on a solid footing and favorably positioned the nation for the Industrial Revolution. Washington's steadfast commitment to the core economic principles of probity, transparency, careful management, and calculated boldness are timeless lessons that should inspire and instruct investors even today.

First Entrepreneur will transform how ordinary Americans think about George Washington and how his success in commercial enterprise influenced and guided the emerging nation.

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mar his second term. Henceforward his efforts would have one primary focus—secure internal and external peace and stability, above all, as the foundation of prosperity. WASHINGTON TOOK THE OATH OF OFFICE for his second term as president of the United States in the Senate chamber on March 4, 1793. A month later he went to the circus with Samuel and Elizabeth Powel, forgetting his worries as he marveled at the equestrian demonstrations. Despite all the drama of the previous months, there was no

optimism for their future. He warned against the perils of disunion, but exhorted that “The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.” The source of that union—as he had long believed and repeatedly proclaimed—was commerce, which created the great community of interest that would bind the nation together.33 Not content to leave it at that, Washington laid out

Anderson, John, 198 Annals of Agriculture (Young), 152, 154, 155–156, 158 antifederalists, 222 alliance with France, 226–228 attack on Washington, G., 233 armed conflict economic burden of prolonged, 107–108 over taxation, 224–225 Washington, G., on, 81, 84, 86, 90–91 Arnold, Benedict, 138, 146 Articles of Confederation, 170, 173 Aurora, 233 Ball, Mary Johnson. See Washington, Mary Ball (mother) balloon flight, 1–3 Banister, John, 131–132 Bank of North America, 138 Bank of United

lost him at cards. Washington kept the lands, which were valued at �1,000 in the 1790s, in his possession and passed them on to his heirs. He also passed on a boisterous kennel full of dogs of all varieties. In 1785 Lafayette sent him several French hounds by way of John Quincy Adams for breeding, even though “English dogs are so much in fashion Here that the King who likes to Ride fast Has no French Hounds, which, says He, are Very Slow.” Washington also possessed a greyhound appropriately

the last day of his 680-mile journey home, Washington ate breakfast by candlelight, mounted his horse, and rode through driving rain to reach Mount Vernon just before nightfall. Retiring to his study, Washington pulled out the diary he had carefully kept during the journey and filled several pages with his final observations. The ruin of his Pennsylvania lands he bitterly lamented. Overall, though, he felt “well pleased” at the journey, for it had renewed his faith in the west’s potential and

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